The Romney File

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Romney's Parallel Universe

    GM on Romney: "We've clearly entered some parallel universe"

    Paul Constant of The Stranger suggests, "Apparently, Mitt Romney is running against the US auto industry in the last week of the election". And perhaps this seems hyperbolic, but The Stranger is the gay, liberal, alternative weekly tabloid in Seattle, so that sort of rhetoric doesn't really raise eyebrows.

    Of course, it might well have nothing to do with The Stranger. Mitt Romney's latest salvo includes shots at General Motors. Nathan Bomey and Brent Snavely (I swear that's a real byline) report, for The Detroit Free Press:

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has broadened his attack on President Barack Obama's auto industry restructuring, implying that General Motors used the aid to hire more workers in China than in the U.S.

    "Barack Obama says he saved the auto industry. But for who? Ohio or China?" says the narrator in a radio spot running in Ohio. "Under President Obama, GM cut 15,000 American jobs, but they are planning to double the number of cars built in China, which means 15,000 more jobs for China. And now comes word that Chrysler plans to start making Jeeps in, you guessed it, China."

    GM quickly defended its performance.

    "We've clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days," GM spokesman Greg Martin said. "No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country."

    Part of me wonders how Republicans would respond if President Obama or some prominent Democrat was making this sort of attack against GM, but it's a hard question to countenance because the particular perspectives that lead to such a critique are uniquely conservative.

    While it is true that the Romney campaign's Jeep China lie is in itself astounding, we ought not overlook that the Republican nominee seems to have put General Motors in his crosshairs.

    GM's total U.S. employment did fall by about 14,000 from the end of 2008 until the end of 2011, according to the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But the majority of those occurred in early 2009 in the crisis-driven months leading up to its bankruptcy restructuring.

    Similarly to Chrysler, GM has added jobs at factories that have launched new products. Both companies are very profitable in the U.S. and those profits are offsetting losses GM, or in the case of Chrysler, Fiat, is suffering in Europe.

    Chrysler reported a $381-million third-quarter profit. GM will report its results Wednesday.

    For all we hear from Republicans about the glories of the private sector, Mitt Romney would, apparently without any conflict of conscience whatsoever, attack a major American corporation for having taken advantage of available resources.

    Perhaps, should Romney win the election, we can hold Republicans to this standard: No tax breaks for corporations. No federal assistance for the private sector whatsoever.

    If conservatives are serious about cutting off the federal teat, then, yes, the GM bailout was wrong. And if they are serious about cutting off the federal teat, conservatives will make that point in future policy discussions.

    Regardless of who wins the election, I would predict we can expect to hear Republicans asking for federal fairy dust to help out the exceptional American private sector by spring, because, well, the private sector can't build everything on its own without public help.


    Constant, Paul. "Now Mitt Romney Is Running Against General Motors, Because That Makes Sense". Slog. October 30, 2012. October 30, 2012.

    Bomey, Nathan and Brent Snavely. "GM calls latest Romney auto ad 'politics at its cynical worst'". The Detroit Free Press. October 30, 2012. October 30, 2012.
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  3. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    I have never seen a candidate for POTUS lie so blatantly and so frequently as Romney has done. Now he is trying to rewrite his history and President Obama’s history on the auto industry bailout. Romney was against it before he was for it. Actually, Romney was for the auto industry bailout about 3 years after the bailout.

    When the bailout occurred, when President Obama was out fighting Republicans on the auto industry bailout, Romney was against the bailout. Now that the bailout is done and has been successful, Romney wants to take credit for it – what a slimy scumbag! I don’t know how the guy manages to look at himself every morning. He must be a psychopath.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The impropriety of something or another

    I would note, aside, that the public discourse disapproves of such assertions. Never mind; it's not important to the present issue—rather, I'm thinking of something else entirely.

    I think part of the reason, though, why such things are scorned in the public discourse is that the disease is much more pervasive to the human condition than neurosis will admit. He's not a psychopath, per se, but a businessman in pure expression of the sort that most people don't want to imagine. That is to say, some degree of American exceptionalism is built on apostasy. For generations, now, we have expressed a set of morals and then twisted those principles to fit the circumstance. Thus, violence is mercy, and greed is altruistic. "Thus," writes Clive Barker, "the pagan will be sanctified, the tragic become laughable."

    Romney is a salesman, and sleights of rhetoric have long been part of our cultural sales ethic. If you sell music boxes, it is simple enough: Stress the melody, and do not mention to the customer that any musician will tell you how inadequate is the tinkling sound of an eight-note movement.

    What? It's true. It's well enough to open a jewelry box and hear "Music of the Night", but the tiny comb produces a pathetic sound that even the best of boxes cannot properly cure.

    But, hey, it's only $59.95.

    The sixty-four note movement? Four sixteen-note combs tuned separately? Well, yeah. That's a nice sound, and the dimensions allow for a much deeper, fuller, more robust and complete vibration spectrum. But, hey, are you going to cough up four thousand dollars? Excuse me, $3,995.95?

    Yes, I remember how to sell music boxes.

    It's not a stretch to selling cars: Good mileage, handles sharp. (I'm not going to mention the part where the brakes catch fire every now and then.)

    Sure, it's sucky horsepower compared to a Lambo, but hey, it's fifteen grand, not a hundred.

    But what happened?

    Now it's a pitch to buy my car because the other guy's catches fire (not really, but if I pretend I believe it, I'm not lying).

    I think there is a difference between not mentioning that my brand catches fire, and accusing that the other brand does instead. But that's not good sales. As long as I can get away with it, I should lie to you and tell you that the competitor bursts into flame.

    Why not? If you believe it, and are stupid enough to put down the money, why not?

    That's the difference. It's not whether I can sell you this by highlighting the good parts and downplaying the bad. If I can fraudulently convince you that what is wrong with my product is actually the other guy's problem, it's not fraud.

    Mitt Romney isn't a psychopath except insofar as he is a very purified expression of something quite common in our society.
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  7. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    I am not that cynical. Sales puffery is to be expected. But what Romney has done and continues to do far exceeds the normal bounds of sales puffery and enters the realm of fraud. Fraud is illegal in all but politics. And what Romney is doing is fraud, pure and simple.
  8. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    And it is working for him...

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    If somebody would have told you in advance.....

    And he had one incredible surge in the polls.... Obama was a sure winner 5 weeks ago, and now it is supposedly head to head....
  9. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I captured Romney on my hidden camera saying:
    "Hey God, I thought you were on our side! Sandy shut down my TV ads telling Obama is a "bad news dog" with failed economics. AND
    Sandy gave him the chance to look "Presidental", display concern, and order the agencies to "lean forward" cut thru the red tap and deliver the needed aid."
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Well it appears that the barrage of last minute lies from the Romney campaign is a sign of desperation. They appear to be throwing everything at the wall and hope something sticks. Unfortunately for Romney, but fortunately for the nation, the local press and the auto industry are having none of it, exposing Romney’s most recent lies. Romney is deliberately sacrificing whatever credibility he may have. It’s a kamikaze maneuver. Yesterday Romney had a campaign event that was billed as a "non campaign" event.

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    It really is kind of funny.

    Romney is in Florida today campaigning in a state that should be his, Florida is a pretty solid red state with a Republican legislature and a Republican governor and a demographic that favors Republicans. And according to the latest polling, the races in Virginia and North Carolina, two other solid red states, are a dead heat. I never expected President Obama could win North Carolina, but an Obama win in North Carolina is a possibility.

    And to top it off, Governor Christie (Republican) and keynote speaker at the Republican convention and a Republican rising star has been lavishing nothing but praise on President Obama these last few days, putting a severe damper on Romney's narrative. Governor Christie even kicked good old Fox News in the teeth the other day when they tried to politicize Hurricane Sandy – good for Christie! It's about time.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  11. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Well we all got to agree its a said state of affairs when open lying still gets you votes, I personally blame the the internet and neurological limitations of the average human brain: information overload and selective data search bais allows people to surround themselves with complete fantasies. Anyways Romney will win.
  12. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    That is nothing new, it has been like that in the last 200 years.

    You never heard of the EC right? Obama leads by 60 electors. Also, the latest polls (be people (not voters) who predicted the last 4 elections correctly) predict an Obama win.

    Stop paying attention to nationwide polls, they are meaningless.
  13. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    I disagree, before people just had ignorance now they have ignorance re-enforced by ignorance. The internet is now being used as a giant stupidification amplificator! Despite the fact that if your willing you can find the truth in just a few clicks... oh but you got to read and process and read more, aah who as has the time, nope my candidate is great the other is the devil, here a blogs that says so and its funny and its got cat videos, ooooh cat videos! I'm just going to read what this guy says from now on!

    I don't trust polls, they can give false hope, I remember all the false polls and poll skewing arguments Mad used to proclaim that obama was not going to win, that the white people were lying in the polls and would never vote for a neg/eer black man, etc, etc, and then when Mad had to eat shit when Obama won. I'm not going down like that: hope for the best, prepare for the worst: Romney is going to win.
  14. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Sure, but there is an other thing. One issue elections. The Reps are great at making an election just about 1 issue, be it guncontrol, abortion, etc. So the average Republican voter doesn't even care if he/she is voting against their best interest (I know one) but because of that 1 issue, they will vote Republican no matter what.

    Also there are lifelong Reps, who will vote Republican until Jesus comes down from Heaven...

    I only trust reliable polls, who measure important things. Voters in Texas are irrelevant because Texas will always go Rep, so why poll them? But poll the swing states and do it right.

    What I don't trust is the voting machines. The 2004 Ohio election was stolen by the software, and there is no reassurance it won't happen again...
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    That's Our Mitt!

    And he has every reason to do so. The numbers aren't really all that much different than they've ever been; Romney's lies haven't hurt him much. Indeed, they seem to help, as Syzygys suggests. So much so that on the heels of Romney's misguided attack against General Motors and Jeep dishonesty, it would seem the campaign has resurrected the welfare lie.

    Still, though, Romney's Victory Rally Storm Relief Event—

    —is indicative of the Republican nominee as an administrator:

    Instead, Romney will appear at the exact same venue at the exact same time with the exact same celebrity guests, but it will be billed as a "storm relief event." What about yesterday's promise about cancellations? A Republican official said Romney/Ryan hadn't broken its word because, technically, this is "not a campaign event per se."

    Hmm. The badge for today's "storm relief event" says "victory rally"; the sign on the door described the event as a "campaign rally"; they're playing the campaign warm-up songs for the audience; and before the "storm relief event" could begin, campaign officials showed the official campaign video on Romney's awesomeness.

    But don't worry, it's "not a campaign event per se."


    The BuzzFeed account from McKay Coppins is entertaining; it almost sounds like fiction:

    When reporters arrived on site ahead of the candidate, they were given press badges describing the event as a "victory rally" — a result, one aide told BuzzFeed, of the event's last-minute repurposing. He said the badges were printed Monday morning, before the change had been announced.

    And shortly thereafter, the two large projector screens near the ceiling lit up with a glossy, 10-minute biographical video about the candidate, one that debuted at the Republican National Convention. A state campaign official blamed "someone from the audiovisual team" for playing the video without the campaign's permission ....

    .... But even as Romney, clad in blue jeans and rolled-up sleeves, hustled around his area of the gym, shaking hands, thanking supporters, and stacking cases of bottled water on top of each other, signs of stagecraft remained.
    As supporters lined up to greet the candidate, a young volunteer in a Romney/Ryan T-shirt stood near the tables, his hands cupped around his mouth, shouting, "You need a donation to get in line!"

    Empty-handed supporters pled for entrance, with one woman asking, "What if we dropped off our donations up front?"

    The volunteer gestured toward a pile of groceries conveniently stacked near the candidate. "Just grab something," he said.

    Two teenage boys retrieved a jar of peanut butter each, and got in line. When it was their turn, they handed their "donations" to Romney. He took them, smiled, and offered an earnest "Thank you."

    Regarding your note about sales puffery, I agree; it's just that I think Romney is a distillation of what is normally diffuse. Everything is a sales opportunity. The press passes (see below) aren't that big a deal, and one can flip a coin about whether cleaning up garbage is an appropriate do-your-part metaphor when it comes to feeding disaster victims amid the crisis.

    But nobody could take a blank Romney/Ryan logo placard and scrawl "Storm Relief Event" on it, instead of announcing the site as a campaign rally? And if you're going to blame the A/V for not getting the memo, maybe someone should have stopped the campaign theme music, or at least figured it out before playing the campaign video? And the question of stagecraft isn't so much the hitches of ad hoc management; rather, it is why one is bothering with such stagecraft at an allegedly apolitical event.

    Of course, we should also note that nobody accepting government disaster relief can say they built it on their own, else they will refuse all assistance that is not specifically lifesaving and rely on their insurance policies, instead. We should not lose sight of the fact that, despite first response being one of the purposes of government Republicans will acknowledge, Romney believes FEMA should be turned over to the states—or, better yet, the private sector—and his budget plan will require steep cuts to federal disaster response.

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    Benen, Steve. "The ignominious return of the welfare lie". The Maddow Blog. October 31, 2012. October 31, 2012.

    —————. "Parsing the meaning of 'campaign event'". The Maddow Blog. October 30, 2012. October 31, 2012.

    Coppins, McKay. "The Making Of Romney's Storm Relief Event". BuzzFeed. October 31, 2012. October 31, 2012.

    Kogan, Richard and Paul N. Van de Water. "Romney Budget Proposals Would Necessitate Very Large Cuts in Medicaid, Education, Health Research and Other Programs". Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. September 24, 2012. October 31, 2012.
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    And if things were not bad enough for Willard Mitt Romney, when repeatedly asked by reporters, some 14 times yesterday, if he would defund and privatize the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as he said he would a few months ago during the Republican primary debates, Romney repeatedly refused to answer that question. A simple yes or no would have sufficed. But Romney repeatedly refused to answer the question as did his campaign. That doesn’t seem like a hard question to answer.

    Today Republican Congressman King went on record to say he would not vote for Hurricane Sandy relief unless and until he had a spending plan that satisfied him. Congressman King wants to make sure the money will not be used to buy prostitutes and Gucci handbags.
  17. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Hey, now you are bitching about him NOT lying? A non-answer is better than a lie....
  18. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

    A non-answer from him means that either his real answer would piss EVERYONE off, even the people who seem to believe/forget his lies, or that his handlers haven't gotten back to him yet on the question, which is bad as well.
  19. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Yes it's a tough question for Romney. If he says no, he risks upsetting millions of voters in his right wing base. We have already wittnessed a Republican congressman say he would vote against Hurricane Sandy relief. If Romney answers yes, Romney risks upsetting millions of independent voters. Romney's handlers haven't yet figured out how to answer that question without losing votes.
  20. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member


    Rather, they have figured out that there is no answer he could give that will not lose him votes. Rmoney's cake was baked in the debates on the FEMA issue, Ryan's budget cut's FEMA to the bone and House Republicans have railed against helping without offsets, though they don't explain their contrary opinion about offsetting tax cuts for the wealthy for the last 12 years.


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  21. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Which obviously all floated out to sea and need to be replaced. A few more days of blighted, muddy, burned out, smashed up and waterlogged disaster areas, and this idiot will fade back into obscurity. One fifth of Americans live along seashores. Their empathy must be palpable. I imagine most of them are ignoring the nuts and recognizing the importance of federal institutions like NOAA, FEMA, the Coast Guard, and the Army Corps of Engineers (to name a few) to protect disaster victims during the aftermath and cleanup, in the way Gov Christie of NJ is relying on Obama to help him help his state's victims.

    Republicans are are always out of step with the national temperament. All they have been doing lately is digging a deeper and deeper hole for themselves (e.g., Murdoch, Sununu). For all the spankings they took during the Bush years for lack of transparency, this kind of response is just begging to be made invisible. Predictable, though. Even their amnesiac constituents have to be roused by empathy to the point of righteous indignation over this clown's cynicism, in a time of inordinate and unprecedented regional suffering, when sensible people would cut the crap, roll up their sleeves, and get to work.

    They're all helping to accentuate Romney in the light in which we've already seen him - as a another rich, spoiled bonehead.
  22. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    He even has the audacity to claim that states need to take care of their own (while alluding to FEMA as a good resource) at the same time as Gov Chris Christie is expressing his allegiance to--and dependency on--Obama for help.

    There is a report that Romney aids spent $5000 on store bought food items, then handed them out to fans attending his rally in Ohio, to give the appearance the fans were bringing in the donated items. He looked more to me like a deer in headlights than any other time during this race.
  23. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    And Ryan, too. They're definitely birds of a feather.
    I totally agree. The standardized psychopathy test would fail both him and Ryan, while Obama and Biden would score high in empathy. I think it's coming down to this, that ultimately the culture wars will boil down to a conversation about psychopathy vs empathy. I'd love to see some of our national brain trust launch a new initiative to bring this to a head. Maybe a trailer put together by Michael Moore--something as far from the Clint Eastwood scenario as possible, but compelling, to rally public awareness, and more town hall come-to-Jesus meetings for people of all stripes, that would once and for all answer the mail on the art of manipulation and the vulnerable minds of everyday people.

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